Are you ready to invest some time in the classroom to help grow your business? Perhaps now is the time to take advantage of one of Lincoln County’s most prominent and established professional development opportunities – the Small Business Management (SBM) Program at Oregon Coast Community College.
This summer, the staff at OCCC’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is meeting with business owners from all over Lincoln County.
“The summer is one of our busiest times,” said Misty Lambrecht, coordinator of the SBM, the Center’s cornerstone program. “Each summer we schedule meetings with business owners who might consider enrolling in our SBM for the next academic year.” This year, the program kicks off in late September 2018, and runs through June 2019. Applications are open now.
Any Lincoln County business can apply to participate in the Small Business Management Program, but the typical participant has at least two to three years of operations under her belt. “Some businesses are much older,” Lambrecht said. “In recent years, we’ve seen brand-new startups sitting next to owners of fourth-generation county businesses. All are welcome, and all have something to contribute to our discussions.”
“Ron Spisso, who ran this program for almost 20 years, called it an ‘MBA Lite,’” she said. “It introduces business owners to fundamental concepts that have been around for years, as well as very new information – this year new content will range from the ramifications of the 2018 tax changes to the new marketing environment created by Facebook’s recent algorithm changes, among many others.”
About the program
The Small Business Management Program at its core consists of monthly classroom sessions, from September through June, along with once-monthly one-on-one advising sessions, during which participants meet alone with their business advisor from the SBDC.
“The typical SBM participant does a lot more than these two appointments per month,” said OCCC SBDC Director Dave Price. “They also do a great deal of work on their business, not just in their business. Generally, SBM participants are joining the program because they have some goals for their business to achieve during the year. Some are out to overhaul and improve their marketing programs and strategies. Others are determined to get their financial reporting improved and to resolve longstanding issues with their QuickBooks records. Still others are hoping to learn more about resolving nagging personnel issues. And then,” Price continued, “there are those who are simply eager to learn more about doing business – and specifically to learn from other business owners about doing business here in our wonderful, crazy, and challenging corner of the world.”
Price, a county resident since 1996 who launched his own business here in 2005 and sold it in 2013, is a graduate of the SBM. “I enrolled in the program in the depths of the Great Recession,” he said. “I loved the monthly advising sessions – they were a great way to step out of the day to day stresses of the workplace and to talk real strategies, and building value for the long term.”
This year, the SBDC plans to offer two different sections of the SBM; one that meets Tuesday afternoons in Newport, and another meeting Wednesday mornings in Lincoln City. Lambrecht said. “Businesses tell us they appreciate the convenience of having sessions closer to home, and also the ability to catch a missed class at the other location.”
Program cost information is available on the website (oregoncoastbusiness.com). A variety of scholarships and financial supports are available. For more information, prospective students should call 541-994-4166.
To find out if the Small Business Management Program is for you, and to schedule an appointment with Lambrecht or Price, call 541-994-4166, or visit www.oregoncoastcc.org/small-business-management/ and click “Application.”